RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Council voted in favor of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposed meals tax increase Monday night.

As a result, the city’s meals tax rate will rise from 6 to 7.5 percent, which is expected to provide the city with an additional $9.1 million annually towards fixing Richmond Public Schools (RPS). The added revenue is also expected to increase Richmond’s debt capacity.

City council voted 7-2 in favor of the proposal.

Monday’s vote has been the subject of controversy since Mayor Stoney proposed the hike earlier this year.

While it’s been backed by RPS supporters and others, including from new superintendent Jason Kamras, others have spoken out against the proposal in the weeks leading up to Monday’s vote, claiming the increase could put a strain on the local restaurant business.

The meals tax increase goes into effect July 1.

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